I have been discovering so many new authors lately, and I now have to add Carrie Turansky to that list! No Ocean Too Wide has been on my TBR for a while now, but I worried it would be too heavy during this time of a pandemic, riots, and political upheaval. However, I found that while it portrayed strife and difficulties, it also resonated with hope.
This book is historical fiction, and it told a story from history I knew nothing about. I had never heard of the British Home Children program which relocated thousands of poor British children to Canada and other British colonies from about 1870 to 1930. Most of the children were orphans, but unfortunately, many were taken from their families due to corruption and a broken bureaucratic system. Even worse, while some were taken in by loving families, most became little more than slaves working as domestics and farmhands. This book tells the story of three children taken from a loving yet impoverished home through this broken system. Their eldest sister, Laura McAlister, will stop at nothing to get her siblings back, even if that means telling an elaborate lie in order to get passage across the ocean to Canada.
The book mainly focuses on Laura and the second sister, Katie. This is the beginning of a series, however, called The McAlister family, so I am expecting to read more about the other two siblings - Garth and Grace - later on. Katie’s story was especially heart breaking, and I was on the edge of my seat, terrified that Laura wouldn’t find her in time! I also cried many tears over Katie’s story.
There is also some romance in this book, though I wouldn’t say it is at the forefront of the story. I loved Andrew Fraser, the romantic lead. He and Laura would just miss each other at times and inevitably misunderstand one another. Like I always do, I wanted to reach into the book and force them to have a conversation. However, the author didn’t draw it out unnecessarily. It was the perfect amount of tension for the romance to work, and Laura’s hesitancy made perfect sense considering her back story.
My only critique of this book was that the ending seemed a little abrupt. However, there is a sequel, so that may be why.
Overall, I highly recommend this book and eagerly await reading the rest of the series!
I am a former English teacher turned homeschool mom of three who writes Christian romance novels on the side. You know, in my huge amount of spare time.